Best time to visit the Azores: 5 tips & Info

Colorful flowers in the Azores

You love to discover nature while hiking, you want to swim with dolphins or watch whales one day? And all this in pleasant, not too hot temperatures? Then the nine Azores islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean are perfect for you. In this article you will learn tips& info about the best time to travel to the Azores and when to do which activities best.

1. Overview of the best time to travel to the Azores

On the nine islands belonging to Portugal, the climate remains very similar throughout the year, which makes the Azores a popular year-round destination. Nevertheless, the summer months from June to October are the best for a trip. During this period, temperatures average 22 – 26°C during the day and approx. 19°C and the sun shines minimum 5 – 8 hours per day. July and August are the warmest and have the least rainfall. With water temperatures of 20 – 23°C you can spend a pleasant bathing vacation there in summer.

Best time to visit the Azores: June – October

In winter it is a bit cooler with daytime temperatures around 17°C. All the islands of the Azores, however, remain frost-free, which is why the survival of many tropical plants is possible.

✈ Travel tip: On the island hopping trip to the Azores, you discover several islands one after the other in what is called "island hopping.

2. When the hydrangeas bloom?

Hydrangeas on the island of Sao Miguel

Due to the mild climate and the fertile volcanic soils, the Azores are like a natural greenhouse. Flowers, pineapple and tea are abundant there. However, the hydrangea bloom in the Azores is especially famous and popular.

The Azores are a paradise for hiking fans! The landscape is strongly marked by the volcanic origin of almost all of its islands and the great biodiversity impresses with fantastic flora and fauna.

For centuries, the fastest way was by sea and footpaths were few and far between. They were used to visit festivals in the neighborhood or to transport agricultural products such as fish, coal and other small trade goods. Much of the original trail network has been repaired and signposted over time, making both the coast and the mountainous hinterland excellent for exploring on foot.

Best time for hiking in the Azores: June – October

Hiking in the Azores is possible all year round. The warm and dry months from June to August are the best time to visit. Since it never really gets hot, even in the height of summer, temperatures are pleasant for hiking.

Hiking tips for the Azores:

  • Azores island Faial: Circumnavigation of the 900 m high crater Caldeira of Faial (approx. 3 hours) or even descend into the crater together with a guide accredited by the Faial Nature Park. Also possible is a 23 km hike from the Caldeira to the Capelinhos volcano.
  • Sao Miguel: Hike around the lakes Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul, which are located next to each other.
  • Sao Miguel: Hike to the crater lake Lagoa do Fogo with a great view at an altitude of 600m.
  • Flores: Coastal hiking trail from Lajedo to Aldeia Cuada.
  • Pico: Ascent of the volcano Pico on 2.350 m.

Beach vacations: If you want to relax on the beach after a strenuous hike, you will find beautiful beaches on all the Azores islands. But these are mostly no sandy beaches. For beach vacations, the island of Santa Maria is the best place, as it has the most beautiful sandy beach in the Azores.

✈ Browse hiking trips in the Azores and get inspired.

4. Best time for whale watching

Whales in the Atlantic Ocean near the Azores

The best time for whale watching in the Azores is from April to June. During this period the largest whales leave their winter habitat near the equator and head for the summer feeding grounds off the coast of Greenland, Iceland and Norway. They pass by the Azores. But also outside this main season you can watch the huge animals there.

Best time to go whale watching in the Azores: April – June; different species of whales& Dolphins can be seen all year round

Dolphin in the Azores

If you want to swim with wild dolphins, it is best to travel to the Azores in summer. Equipped with snorkel and mask you can discover different species like the bottlenose dolphin, the spotted dolphin, the common dolphin and the Risso's dolphin. Sometimes you can see whale sharks, turtles or sunfishes.

Region Best time
Pico Beginning of March and end of October
Sao Miguel Beginning of May until end of September
Faial Beginning of May until end of September

There are different providers where you can book swimming with dolphins. They have look outs, small houses on the coast where experienced people sit with binoculars and watch the dolphins. Equipped with wetsuits, life jackets and windbreakers you will be taken to the dolphins and can experience the animals up close.

Ready for your trip to the Azores?

On the touristically well developed islands there is a lot to do: Whether diving, hiking, staying on the beach, exploring the tea and pineapple plantations, etc., there is something for everyone. The warmer and drier summer months are especially good for a trip to the Azores. Still looking for inspiration? Then have a look at the Azores trips of the ASI.

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